Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Henry A. Kissinger

U.S. Secretary of StateWhen weapons span continents in minutes, our security is bound up with world peace. Three months after the fall of Saigon, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger spoke on the importance of America's continued role as a peacekeeper in the world. Born to Jewish parents in F’rth, Germany, on May 27, 1923, Kissinger's family fled to the United States in 1938 to escape Nazi persecution. After serving in World War II, and in Germany's postwar military government, he became a leading expert on international relations and nuclear defense policy, teaching at Harvard while advising various U.S. agencies and administrations. In 1969, President Richard Nixon appointed him his assistant for national security affairs. He helped initiate the SALT arms reduction talks with the Soviet Union, and by the end of 1969 had become head of the National Security Council. In Indochina, he advocated an increase in bombing while gradually reducing the U.S. troop presence, and moved forward on the Vietnam peace talks in Paris. In 1972, he orchestrated America's first recognition of the People's Republic of China. In January 1973, he signed a peace agreement to end the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, an accomplishment for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In September 1973, he was appointed secretary of state, and a month later he helped arrange a cease-fire in the Yom Kippur War in the Middle East. After President Nixon's departure in August 1974, Kissinger continued as secretary of state in the Ford administration. After leaving office in 1977, he became an international consultant, lecturer, and writer.


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